The Haus

Wednesday, March 29, 2000

Q3A on Dreamcast

For the console lovers out there: Sega has announce that Q3A will be ported to the Sega Dreamcast. Man, Sega is really taking over the console market. Sony better get their *ahem* stuff together soon.

Thanks Blue.

S3 to Drop Graphic Chip Business?

Voodoo Extreme linked to this press release stating the following:
Multimedia software maker S3 Inc. (NasdaqNM:SIII - news) said on Wednesday it was in discussions to sell or spin off its graphics chip business.

The company offered no additional comment.

In its fourth quarter earnings report in January, its chief executive Ken Potashner said, "Although we continue to make gains in our graphics business, we believe that our growth businesses focusing on Internet appliances and home networking have significant unrealized value."
Seems to me that NVIDIA would be a logical suitor here. Lord knows they've got the cash.

The Master comments: Man, I remember when you COULDN'T buy a prebuilt PC without an S3 video chipset. They really lost their edge in the last couple of years, even with the Savage chipsets. What I don't understand from the press release is this whole "unrealized value" crap in their other markets. Does anyone else notice the markets they intend to "realize" are the markets that Intel is walking into? I think we'll see S3 bankrupt or bought out in the next 3 years.

AnandTech on Celeron II

AnandTech has posted this review of Intel's new Celeron II, which is basically a Pentium III with 1/2 of its L2 cache disabled (128K instead of 256K) with a 66Mhz FSB. While it won't set the world on fire, it will be good for "bargain" PCs and people (like me) looking to upgrade older Celeron systems without selling their firstborn. Thanks Slashdot.

UT 413 Patch for Mac

According to Stomped, the 413 patch for Unreal Tournament for the Mac might be a long time coming. Redwood quotes this blurb on the Mac Gaming Ledge.
"I really hate to be the one to tell you, but the first we knew about a 413 patch was when they released it. (sigh) This is not an uncommon problem when working PC to Mac, but it *is* extremely frustrating. In any case, we have requested the code and we can't say what will happen until we receive it."
If they would read The Haus daily, they'd be up on all this :)

More Daikatana Info

Gone Gold sent email to Brian Kemp, the man with the PR plan for Daikatana. Here's what he had to say about release dates, and probably helps explain why they muzzled Noel.
The game itself is very close to completion. They have looked at a few candidates, but none have been approved so far. It seems a decision has been made however. Once the game does go gold, Eidos has decided to hold it and get all the localized versions gold before release. This way they will have a simultaneous World Wide release, or at least within days of each other.

How much of a delay will that be? Not really sure at this point. Most likely before the summer gets here, but they're hoping to have an "official" announcement with a solid release schedule shortly.

Tuesday, March 28, 2000

AOL Open Mail Relays

In the "stop me if you've heard this before" category, AOL got itself added to the ORBS list for having open mail relays. Smooth. Only the largest ISP in the history of ever. Actually I'm rather amazed at the number of ISPs who have their mail servers wide open for spammers. You'd think they'd value their bandwidth and server usage a bit more than that. Thanks Slashdot.

Update! Upon reading through the comments on this article, I found this from someone claiming to be an AOL employee (not that I necessarily doubt it, I just can't verify it):
AOL has some new machines in place to redirect part of what would normally be the dialup (* mail traffic through machines where we can monitor the volume to control spam. We're just testing it at the moment, and these redirection proxy machines are the ones listed in ORBS, with my support and permission. AOL's dialups have been listed in ORBS and the MAPS DUL for a long time, because well, lots of mail shouldn't come directly from dialups to someone else's mailserver.

SoF SDK Available

Raven's Rick Johnson updated his .plan with the following good news for aspiring Soldier of Fortune mappers and mod makers:
You can download the inital version of the SoF SDK at SoF News. This SDK contains a version of Radiant for SoF, the BSP utilities, scripting compiler, ghoul exporter, documentation, and the original map and script files for the first level of the game (the New York Subway).

Evil Avatar and Tim Sweeney

Evil Avatar fired off some questions to Epic's Tim Sweeney. Here's what I found to be the most interesting:
Evil: If Quake III Arena runs so great under OpenGL, how come the Unreal Engine doesn't and what are you going to do about it?

Tim: Quake's OpenGL support is superior to UT's OpenGL support because id Software designed the engine 100% focused on OpenGL. From the very beginning, their level designers were placing textures in their levels, and the programmers were doing their thing, with OpenGL's performance characteristics in mind.
Basically, that's what we've known all along. The Q3A engine was built from the ground up to be an OpenGL engine, the UT engine was built from the ground up to be a Glide engine. Thus the differences. Tim continues,
We support Direct3D, Glide, software rendering, and now PlayStation2 rendering. Supporting multiple API's requires a different set of tradeoffs. This is bad for OpenGL performance, but good for other things. For example, Unreal Tournament is fun and playable on those $400 to $500 PC's that are so popular in retail stores and are bringing computers to ordinary people, as opposed to hardcore gamers. Most of these computers can't run Quake 3 because they lack adequate 3D acceleration. But they have fast CPU's, so Unreal Tournament's software renderer saves the day.
Quite interesting, but I challenge you to find a $400-$500 PC that will run UT decently. Especially without at least a Voodoo2.

Noel gets his hands slapped

Noel "Shadow" Stephens posted a note in his .plan:
I have been informed not to post in my .plan file.

Sorry guys,

I think Eidos doesn't want any "almost there" news posted anymore. Does anyone else sense the impending doom?

A.T. Hun comments: Translation: No game for you. No demo for you. No anything for you. At least not anytime soon . . .

The Master comments: So, when did you start learning Eidosese there A.T.? :-)

5.13 Detonators: 1st Impressions

I got the new drivers installed (tip: change to PCI VGA first and THEN uninstall the old drivers). FPS are about the same in Unreal Tournament and maybe a smidge faster in Q3A. I still can't get decals not to flash in Half-Life OpenGL, but they still work fine in Direct3D. H-L didn't crash when I exited (but I only tried it once). NHL 2000 runs fine. I didn't play Unreal Tourney long enough to see the 2.08 driver's mipmap corruption was still gone, but I have no reason to doubt it. All in all: good first impressions. N.B. this was with my Creative Labs AGP TNT.

Ask Sweeney

The crazy kids at Voodoo Extreme have posted a Q&A with Epic's Tim Sweeney. Topics include getting into the biz, programming consoles, and Glide vs. D3D. Good stuff, Maynard.

5.13 Detonators

Hey kids! More unofficial driver fun! Copies of the NVIDIA 5.13 Detonator drivers are out and about. Rumor has it that they provide all the benefits of the 5.08 drivers with added stability. It seems that GeForce users also have a checkbox to enable FSAA in OpenGL and D3D. A little birdie told me you could get these drivers here. I'm going to try these out and report back. Hopefully they will cure some of the crashes I've been experiencing in Half-Life.

UT D3D Troubles

Well, so much for the 413 patch. Some users are reporting performance problems in Direct3D with this latest patch and Unreal Tournament. The UT Direct3D page has been updated with the old beta d3ddrv.dll to see if that helps anyone. Personally, I didn't see any major slowdowns with the new patch, but I also didn't see any performance gains either. Thanks Blue's News.

Past Two Days' News

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